The Performance Beacon

The web performance, analytics, and optimization blog

We’ve Come a Long Way Baby – London 2012 Version

Thanks J.J. Colao and for a great Moore’s Law scenario:

“Fifteen years ago it took 6-8 weeks and $1 million to test a web application with a load of 4,000 concurrent users. And that was just for the software license – you’d still be on the hook for the servers. These days that same test, servers included, takes a couple of days and $1,000. That’s one tenth of one percent of the cost 15 years ago.”

Exactly! The testing landscape has changed dramatically. Four years ago we began our journey to provide performance engineers, QA professionals and mobile developers with a platform for testing a new generation of applications. Our goal was to deliver automation, scalability, accuracy and affordability in QA that consumer-facing web applications required. We did it!

Of course that means that we’ve been rather busy here at SOASTA. We did a little testing, okay, a lot of testing actually, for some of the London2012 apps.



This is really the first ‘mobile’ Olympics and a large percentage of the world’s five billion mobile devices are expected to interact with the Olympics at some point during the games’ three-week run. In fact, the Olympics’ ‘Results’ app is currently the #5 ranked free download for the iPhone and the top trending app in the Android app store.

Back in January our team began the first of more than 500 tests on the London 2012 web site and its mobile apps, simulating the browsing of up to 400,000 concurrent users.

Consider this: the official London 2012 web site will be one of the most visited web sites on the planet during the games. It provides live coverage for every Olympic event, sport and venue, plus athlete pages and country information with detailed access to real-time updated Olympics data, statistics and news. To top this all off, advertisers will leverage this web site to make their brands visible to millions of buyers around the globe. The implications of the web site or mobile apps performing poorly, or even crashing, is almost too frightening to imagine.

Here’s what Paul Bunnell, the Lead Web Architect, London 2012, London Organizing Committee of the Olympic and Paralympic Games, had to say: We began working with SOASTA CloudTest … to find all the possible bottlenecks which could prevent the best user experience possible and avoid a catastrophic situation, which could impact the London 2012 brand. The application, infrastructure and all the third-party integration points needed to go through capacity planning and stress testing with different load patterns to ensure reliability and performance 24/7 especially during popular events such as the Opening Ceremonies. The testing teams were spread across the globe and utilized CloudTest’s ability to provide real-time results to adapt the testing, something that legacy toolsets are unable to do.”

We’re honored to have played a small part in London 2012. Enjoy the games.

About the Author

Tom Lounibos

Tom Lounibos, CEO for SOASTA, brings more than 30 years of experience building early stage software companies. Tom is a regular speaker at both cloud and testing events, and has become a leading advocate in using the cloud to empower individuals and accelerate changes in how applications are built, tested and deployed.


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